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Up To No Good at Work? Software Can Analyze Your E-Mails

Software is being designed to allow companies to flag up employees who are potential saboteurs, industrial spies or data thieves. It might also flag up whistle-blowers.

Developed by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, it gauges which topics authors commonly write about. Fed a series of documents, such as academic journal articles, Author-Topic examines the frequency with which words appear in each and uses that to infer which topic that document is about. It then identifies topics that each person writes on most.

Peterson’s team uses the software to analyse emails, rather than articles, and extra software records whether people are sending emails internally or externally. Their system identifies people who are not discussing certain, expected topics - say social activities - with their colleagues, and flags them as possibly feeling alienated. It also identifies those who are discussing sensitive topics externally and classes them as having “clandestine, sensitive interests”. People who are flagged in both categories could pose a risk to a company, say the authors.

In addition to potential saboteurs, the software can also spot whistle-blowers.

Source: EurekAlert
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